Category: #mg

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Dear parents,

The other day I was at a programme put up by the children in school. By the end of it I found just three or four parents watching it with me. The rest had either walked out already or were milling around near the exit.

For some reason that got me all worked up. I thought it was rude and impertinent. This one is for the ‘walkouters’ – a basic vocabulary guide.

To begin with, there’s this word in the English Dictionary – ETIQUETTE. Here’s what it means, and I quote: the customary code of polite behaviour in society.

You understand that? Obviously not. Had you understood even the E of Etiquette you would have known that it is rude to get up and leave in the middle of a performance, however small, however informal, however inconsequential.

You might of course have urgent business to attend to, you’re an uber busy person I know, and you have the right to leave. However, in such a case you might want to sit at the back so you can leave UNOBTRUSIVELY – you do know what that means, right? Leave in a way that is not conspicuous. Got it?

So as I was saying, you might want to leave without disturbing the tiny handful who do know what etiquette is. It is only polite to show some CONSIDERATION, another word that’s strange to you I presume. It means kindness and thoughtful regard for others. You might like to exhibit some kindness towards this tiny lot by not stepping on their toes as you walk out gushing over the performance of the apple of your eye.

There does exist, of course, the possibility of sudden unforeseen and urgent business coming up. However, chances of such business cropping up right after your own child’s two bits are done is rather remote.

There’s another word that might interest you, called DECORUM. It means behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety. You might want to understand that word because chances are the D word is among one of the things you hope your ward will learn at school. Well how about practicing it yourself first? Or is it, that once you’ve written out that fat fee cheque you think you are absolved of all responsibility of teaching anything at all to your child? Least of all by example?

He is watching you, and learning from you remember that. So, I suggest, when you set out from home bring along with you a bagfull of PATIENCE, that’s the capacity to accept or tolerate because, the thing is, when you are invited to watch a show at the children’s school, you are invited to watch the ENTIRE show – the complete show, you understand?

Oh we know you are busy people, the rest of us of course have nothing to do but if we sat through your child’s performance it is only fair, that you sit through that of ours, that’s called RECIPROCITYthe practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. (Oh and by the way let me clarify that one of my child wasn’t in the show at all while the other one was done way before the end.)

If you cannot spare that one hour how about letting your ward perform exclusively for you right at home? That way there’s no trouble for anyone. Brilliant idea, eh? I knew you’d agree.

Lastly, you do have the option to simply BEG OFF the occasion which means to gain permission to be excused from. Do that. Don’t come. So that the rest of us can enjoy the programme in its entirety.

Thank you,

A jobless watcher of school programmes and maker of unnecessary lists.

 

Although its parents I’ve spoken of, we stumble upon such people almost every day. So tell me which are the ones that get your blood boiling?

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

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Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

The Road to Independence #Monday Musings

The Road to Independence #Monday Musings

Last weekend as I was picking up H from his guitar class we saw one of his classmates walking back home. He lives close by and goes to the same  class.

I happened to say, ‘How very responsible and independent he is! Walking back home by himself!’ And that, dear friend, was a mistake  you must remember never to make when you’re with your tween. I regretted it almost immediately.

Never praise the independence of another child unless you are willing to let yours have it too. Click To Tweet

I really should have just kept my mouth shut. But then even the most cautious of us slips occasionally.

Obviously, H wouldn’t stop talking about it. Obviously he pestered me to let him walk there and back on his own. The distance doesn’t worry me, it is a little over 1.5 kms. It’s the fact that he would have to cross roads twice through fast-moving traffic and the fact that he is rather absent-minded.

Of late I have started allowing the twins step out on their own. They walk down to the stationery shop to get their own supplies and to the library. We are fortunate to have all of those within a few hundred meters around our apartment complex. I love it that they can run small errands for me like picking up grocery or giving clothes for ironing, which takes such a load off me, while making them feel responsible too.

But this was something I was skeptical about.

After much discussion (read argument) and silent contemplation (read sulking) we reached an agreement, or so I thought. It was decided that we would have a few ‘trials’. H asked if he could walk back with his friend. I agreed, assuming I would be walking with the two of them. Of course he assumed I wasn’t.

When the weekend approached and he realised I was going to walk with them he threw a fit, the kind of fit only a be-dead-rather-than-be-seen-with-mom-by-your-friend tween can throw. After another round of ‘discussions’ and ‘silent contemplation’ he said I could walk along as long as I kept twenty paces behind them.

So imagine this – H walking ahead with his friend pretending he didn’t know me and I following like a detective sent out by a suspicious wife to keep an eye on her cheating husband (or vice versa, for that matter), ready to turn my back or duck behind lamp posts to avoid being spotted, except he would have been more worried than me about me being seen.

The things one has to do for one’s children!

Mercifully, H tired of the walk soon-enough and realised that getting a ride with me was a way more comfortable option. I’ve begun to look upon laziness as a serious virtue. For now, the matter is resolved, till the next bout of independence strikes.

Meanwhile we are practicing crossing roads together, while I practice keeping my mouth shut. Tight.

What do you think, dear reader? Am I being too cautious, ‘overprotective’ as H accuses me of? What’s the right age to let children out on the roads on their own? And I’m talking Indian roads here.

 

Linking up with #MondayMusings at Everydaygyan

 

With Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa’ and Blogchatter. My Rank when I started out was: 2,244,955.

Supermom!

Supermom!

When that genetically mutated spider bit Peter Parker his (Parker’s obviously) life changed forever. Something similar happened to me when I had the twins.

At first they were rather inconspicuous, these special powers that came to me.

Before the twins I was pretty much a Kumbhakaran – that gentle giant blessed with a sleeping curse. I couldn’t function without my 8-9 hours everyday. With the arrival of the children I began waking up many times a night – on my own – sometimes to change nappies, to feed and burp and sometimes simply to run a finger under the twins’ noses reassuring myself that they were real living people. Just like that, I was rid of my addiction.

That was the beginning.

As they grew my powers only increased. Like Parker I discovered in myself super strength and agility.

If he had superhuman reflexes that let him scale walls and fly over traffic to save people, I could sprint, do a back flip and dive right in just as one of the twins fell off the sofa.

If he was strong enough to stop a running train, I could stop a running cycle….  make that two running cycles, before they hurtled into simultaneous twin accidents.

If he could spin a web fine as silk and strong as steel, I could spin tales so intricate so elaborate, as to keep two hyper active minds quiet for hours on end.

As the teens approach my superpowers seem to be growing.

My memory might have gone on leave but my senses, By God, they’re in an overdrive. Just like Parker, I find my eyesight sharper, my hearing more acute and my sense of smell can rival that of a sniffer bomb squad dog.

Is that a scream of laughter or distress – I can tell without going into the room. Was the food found under our apartment window dumped by the twins or was it the old man on the floor below our’s – I’d know. (It was the old man, in case you were wondering). Is it an upset tummy or experiments with my makeup kit that was keeping them for hours in the washroom – I can always tell.

I can look through closed doors, listen to merest whispers and smell out secrets.
I successfully busted hair-trimming sessions before the twins had shorn each other off.
I put an end to ice-cream smuggling no matter how soundlessly the freezer door was opened.
I smell burning cookies and douse the flames before they take the house down.
One time I even staved off floods when the twins turned on the taps and blocked the drains to make a swimming pool in the washroom.

As I sit here with a self-satisfied smile writing this self-congratulatory piece I find my mom-senses tingling already. Got to go folks, time to spin another web and reel them in.

Linking up with

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Also joining Deepa at  Kreative Mommy for #MondayMommyMoments.
Kreativemommy.com
The room on the roof

The room on the roof

Our house in my hometown is way larger than the flat we live in back home. To the twins’ absolute awe and delight it is a stand-alone bungalow, has a huge room on the first floor with a large terrace.

Till a few years back they were too young to go exploring and we managed to keep them grounded (pun intended!). My mum imagined them sliding down the steep bannister and running up and down the stairs and promptly issued a blanket ban. Then there are monkeys, no not mine, real ones – aggressive and fearless – that roam the neighbourhood. We all thought it was best to restrict the children to the ground floor.

Till they were about 5 or 6 they complied.

A few years later they made their way to the first landing then to the second until finally they ‘discovered’ the room. Since the holidays were almost over by the time they made this momentous discovery there wasn’t much they could do. They had to be satisfied with leaving notes all over the doors and windows labelling it as ‘H&N’s room’. And that was that!

Next year the moment they arrived they scooted up to assert ownership. The room was quite bare since it wasn’t much in use and the twins set out to rectify it rightaway. First, they decided, it needed to be furnished. During the long summer afternoons, while all of us adults shut ourselves in our rooms with the hum of the AC for company, the twins went to work.

They picked a mattress from one of the rooms on the ground floor (taking care to replace the covers back on the bed so no one would notice) and lugged it up. If you’ve ever tried walking with a full-sized Sleepwell mattress you’d realise how determined my 6-year-olds would have been. Next they needed tables and chairs. They decided the ground floor had one too many and dragged up some chairs too. The furniture was old, heavy and sturdy, lovingly made during my grandfather’s time. The twins, it would seem, were sturdier.

How they managed to do all of this in complete secrecy remains a mystery.

They put up some more notices at the door, instituted a ‘tax’ for entry and the room was done. That year they spent entire days up their fiddling with the large old broken down radio, carrying up food and juice and playing all kinds of pretend games. It was a relief to have them out of my hair.

Everyone is now reconciled to the fact that that’s where they’ll stay. Their bags are carried up the moment they arrive. They continue to love the place. Despite their fear of monkeys, they walk out onto the terrace and spend hours on the swing.

Last week they decided to have a screen-free day. They spent the morning going up and down busily. Then N pretended to be stranded up in a tower (or something of that sort) and sent down a rope while H tied all kinds of supplies – water and cold drinks and biscuits – which she’d pull up and then he’d run and join her for a snack.

I watched them, glad and grateful, that there was still time before they outgrew their childhood and that silly as their make-believe games might be, they still could trounce technology.

They continue to believe the room is their discovery – no matter that it was my parents who got it constructed after much discussion and many hours of pondering over the plans. “They might have got it built,” argue the little ones, “but then they forgot about it and we discovered it.”

Linking up with

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me.

That warm cup of tea

That warm cup of tea

A few weeks ago during the kids’ exams as we sat struggling with Math problems, I got a call from a friend/associate. He needed copies of some official documents – quite a bunch of them, actually.

If there’s anything that stresses me out more than math problems, it is paperwork. The mere sight of forms to be filled and documents to me signed sends me in all kinds of petrified panic.

As if those percentage problems weren’t bad enough I had to now, not only locate the entire bunch but also scan them/copy them and mail them. I went into a tizzy opening and closing drawers, rifling frantically through my wallet looking for IDs, bills and lease agreements. I found them all  – except one. I was sure I had it as a soft copy in my inbox but despite several searches I couldn’t locate it.

As panic kicked in well and truly I ran all kinds of searches, cursing the wretched paper work, the idea of needing soft copies, at my cleanliness drive (during which I assumed I’d deleted the said document), at my lack of computer knowledge, at the man who invented computers and at the Husband (of course, always the Husband).

And then…..

…. there appeared a cup of tea at my desktop. On a tray. Along with my evening biscuits.

“Mama,” said N, “I made tea for you.”

As I sat back on my revolving chair I felt the panic ebbing and began to feel really really stupid for over-reacting and for needing my ten-year-old to bring home the fact.

And I was grateful and a little at awed at how grown up N sounded. I was amazed at how she’d read my panic and did what she thought best to help. I realised I don’t say ‘thank you’ often enough for this daughter of mine.

After that tea, the situation didn’t seem as desperate at all. I called up the Husband (yeah the same one I’d been ranting at) and of course he had a copy of the document.  Also, as I discovered the documents weren’t even as urgent as I’d imagined in my stupid state of mind.

Do you ever get panic attacks? You’ll know then, how overwhelming they are. It cannot possibly be good for the children to be witness to them. Once logical thinking returns I find myself feeling sorry for putting them through it all. It might not have anything to do with them (like in this case) however with just the three of us at home and nobody to diffuse the tension, the entire house seems to be on an edge till I cool down.

It’s not right, I know.

Unfortunately we cannot control ourselves all the time. Nor can we avoid the kids being part of the mess. So how do I teach the children to handle their stress if I cannot even handle mine? Sigh. Another one of those parenting toughies!

The only thing to do, is to learn from your slip-ups and to teach as you learn; to talk about it once you’re sane again, accept that you overreacted and discuss ways in which you could have handled it.

While I do all of that I continue to be grateful that the children are becoming sensitive to my stresses and hope they learn to extend the sensitivity to everyone around them.

Linking up with Nabanita’s #MommyTalks

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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